Evolving in stressful environments
This is my core area of research and I have especially strong interest on how species evolve to cope fluctuating environments. I have used quantitative genetic experiments with Drosophila and experimental evolution with bacteria to resolve if fluctuating environments cause evolutionary changes in tolerance curves. This work has been done in collaboration with Torsten Nygaard Kristensen, Vanessa Kellermann and Volker Loeschke, and with my former Phd-student Kati Saarinen.
Genetic and epigenetic adaptations
This part of the work is natural continuum for explaining found phenotypic changes in stressful environment, by genetic and epigenetic changes. To do this we utilise next generation sequencing methods. This part is led by post doc Matthieu Bruneaux. Moreover, in related project led by post doc Ilkka Kronholm he is exploring how different epigenetic mutants of Neurospora-fungi affect environmental tolerance and evolution in stressful environments.
Evolution of pathogens and invaders
Evolving in fluctuating environments has also been suggested to lead emergence of pests and pathogens. Invasion biology questions was key part of Kati Saarinen's PhD and pathogen evolution as a consequence of climate change is main research agenda in Roghaieh Ashrafi's PhD study. For studying invasions we use nine species of bacteria, whereas Rogi works mainly with natural isolates of fish pathogen Flavobacterium columnare.